17 February 2020
Gambling: Help and Referral
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So That a Game Remains a Game

The nature of gambling is recreational. Most people gamble for fun and from time to time only. However, for several reasons, some people are more liable to develop an addiction as outlined in our articles How and Why We Become Addicted To Gambling. It would thus be appropriate for you to take certain precautions in order to prevent false beliefs from intruding in this recreational activity.

If you are already exhibiting at-risk gambling behaviours, you are maybe on the verge of developing an addiction that may have serious repercussions on your life and those of your loved ones. Take the test to find out if you are at-risk.

In order for gambling to remain recreational, it is important to adopt good habits.

Put a limit on:

  • Your money: Before gambling, set an amount of money to spend and only bring that amount. Leave your credit and bank cards at home.
  • Time: After gambling for a certain time, stop….whether you have won or lost. Prolonging the time you had previously set out for gambling will not change the outcome. It is chance that decides.
  • The frequency of gambling: Gambling everyday could become a problem. Plan intermittent moments to gamble. For example, it could be once per week/month/year.

Gambling for fun

  • Gambling for fun is going out with friends to the casino or gaming hall.
  • Gambling for fun is betting money to try your luck and not to make a windfall.
  • Gambling for fun is willing to lose your bet, since it was already budgeted.
  • Gambling for fun is leaving with a win and spending it on something else.

Be realistic

  • Remember that games of money and chance rest partly or entirely on chance.
  • Do not try to « beat the VLT ». You have the same probabilities of winning no matter the time or money put in. Changing VLTs to increase your chances of winning is also useless.
  • Do not overestimate your ability to count turns, to analyse past, partial performances or to sniff out an opponent’s style.
  • Avoid distortion. If you are depressed, anxious or under the influence of alcohol, you are not completely connected to reality. Steering clear of gambling until you get your wits about you is one way of protecting yourself from losing control.

Games are an essential activity for the development of little ones and entertainment for adults. Games of money and chance are for adults only and carry certain risks. Watching out for signs of loss of control is therefore key. If you spot signs of gambling in yourself or a loved one, do not hesitate to talk to someone trustworthy and do not be too hard on yourself: no one is immune to losing control in one area or another of their life.

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